In October of last year my GP informed me she would be leaving in March and that her replacement was being advertised for. In March, no replacement had been found and, just like that, I was without a doctor.
There were three other doctors in the practice at that time, so I asked to be transferred to one of them. No chance as they all had a full slate of patients, but I would be put on the waiting list. I had been with the practice for thirty years, since moving to Oliver, so thought I would have some priority.
Being due for a knee replacement surgery at the end of March I was a bit concerned that I didn’t have a doctor to call on if necessary. Covid halted surgeries just three days prior to my supposed date. Once hospitals were open for surgery again, I got my new date of May 29th. I thought I should contact the doctor’s office to check what was happening with my getting on with a new GP.
By now the practice had closed and the doctors had moved in with another group, so I called the new number and asked where I was on the waiting list, as I had surgery due soon. I was told that I wasn’t on a list and needed to contact the central Okanagan office, by email. I did that but never got a confirmation of any kind.
Now, it is six months later and |I have no idea when I will be given a doctor or even if it will be in Oliver, when I get on someone’s patient list. There seems no way of checking up on this system so don’t know how I find out my standing.
Several weeks ago I attended a walk in clinic but, due to social distancing etiquette, had to stand outside for forty minutes and finally gave up trying and went home. I have been told that I can go to ER at the hospital to see a doctor, but this seems extreme and surely not what the ER department is for.
Luckily, I am in generally good health, I get my yearly flu shot and usually just need to see a GP to get my prescription renewal. However, this seems to be a very poor situation to be in and I am sure there are many others in my situation. At 75 years old and having had pneumonia twice in the past five years, I do not look forward to going into without medical assistance available. I guess I will have to attend the ER, if I need help. Luckily, I live just a couple of hundred yards away from the hospital, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
I believe that Vancouver has a huge shortage of doctors so it is not just a small town problem. However, it is not a good situation to be in and just hope that winter brings no unexpected illness. I guess I should just stock up on the wine supply and keep myself in a happy state of mind for the next few months. Good health to everyone!